Reformed Baptist Church in Rome, Italy: Breccia di Roma

Drew Mery, over at Reformed Baptist Daily, writes:

At the heart of Roman Catholic territory — Rome, Italy – exists a Reformed Baptist church, Breccia di Roma (Breach of Rome), faithfully preaching the gospel and ministering among the people.  The pastor of the church, Leonardo De Chirico, is also Adjunct Director of Istituto di Formazione Evangelica e Documentazione (IFED) and runs the website, Vatican Files.  You can read his full bio here.  Be sure to give these sites a look.  If you’re an Italian Christian in Rome and you’re looking for a church that faithfully lives by and preaches God’s word (the Bible), be sure to stop on by at Breccia di Roma.

 

Ciao a tutti!

Church Ministry Roundup: New Reformed Baptist Seminary Videos

Though we already highlighted some, here are more videos from Reformed Baptist Seminary on church ministry and the worship of the church.

Eight Free Video Lectures on Worship and Music – Pastor Matt Foreman

Reformed Baptist Seminary asked Pastor Matt Foreman to give eight lectures on the topic of worship and church ministry. Parts one and two of Matt’s lecture series consist of a redemptive historical survey or overview of worship in the Bible. He explains the relationship between worship as a way of life and corporate worship in part three. The fourth and fifth parts of his series focus on the regulative principle of worship and the distinction between elements and circumstances. Matt provides a theology of music and worship in part six, using the piano and an acoustic guitar to illustrate the principles he expounds. Then, in part seven, Matt gives practical guidelines for working with worship leaders and musical accompanists. Finally, he discusses special occasions such as weddings and funerals.

Part 1: Worship in Redemptive History (Part I)

Part 2: Worship in Redemptive History (Part II)

Part 3: Worship in All of Life and Corporate Worship

Part 4: The Regulative Principle of Worship

Part 5: Elements and Circumstances of Worship

Part 6: A Theology of Worship Music

Part 7: Practical Guidelines for Worship

Part 8: Special Occasions: Weddings and Funerals

 

Contextualization & Church Ministry: Two Free Video Lectures

Contextualization in gospel ministry is a much debated topic. In the two lectures below, Bob Gonzales attempts to navigate a course between the extremes of what one writer has called “cultural gluttony” (over-contextualization) and “cultural anorexia” (under-contextualization). In the first lecture that’s entitled “All Things to All Men,” he attempts to provide an exegetically derived definition and description of what it means to accommodate our gospel ministry to those we’re trying to win to Christ. The second lecture, “Communication That Connects,” focuses more specifically on the contextualization of the gospel message itself in order to render its truth more intelligible and its relevance more apparent to the target audience.

“All Things To All Men”: Contextualization & Ministry, Part 1 – Bob Gonzales

“Communication That Connects”: Contextualization & Ministry, Part 2 – Bob Gonzales

 

How the Bible Regulates Worship: Two Free Lectures

How does the Bible regulate our worship? Pastor Matt Foreman addresses this question as he lectures on the larger topic of worship and church ministry. In the two free video lectures below, Pastor Foreman addresses the distinction between worship as a way of life and corporate worship. He also discusses the distinction between elements and circumstances of worship.

The Regulative Principle Explained – Matt Foreman

The Elements and Circumstances Distinguished – Matt Foreman

 

Here is the audio mp3s from these.

 

Interview #16: Jeff Johnson – The Church, Why Bother? (2 of 2), Book Giveaway + More

PodcastPromo16

On episode 16 of our podcast, we finish up our two-part interview [part one here] with Jeff Johnson on his book The Church: Why Bother? The Nature, Purpose and Functions of the Local Church.

Then we talk about some Reformed Baptist headlines.

Download.

Book Giveaway:

71JXf3ySMnL._SL1386_

Paperback ]

This week you have a chance to win one of two paperbacks of Jeff Johnson’s book The Church: Why Bother? The Nature, Purpose and Functions of the Local Church.

Books & Sites Mentioned:

Headlines Mentioned:

urgent solid ground

Sponsor:

Credopedia.org – A wiki dedicated to the Second London Baptist Confession of Faith, commonly called the 1689, and theology in accordance with the doctrines contained therein.

Post-Interview Music:

The Church’s One Foundation (can be downloaded free on Cardiphonia’s Hymns of Faith album here or another version is found on Indelible Grace)

Is Age Segregated Sunday School Biblical? Keith Throop Answers in a 3-Part Blog

Pastor Keith Throop, of Immanuel Baptist Church, interacts with what has been said by some in the Family-Integrated Church movement and seeks to answers this question in a three part blog series:

Is Age Segregated Sunday School Biblical? – Part 1

…in order to answer the question, it seems to me that we must begin by establishing what we mean when we ask it. We must think about what we will accept as Biblical in the first place andwhy we will accept it as such. In my opinion, much of the confusion in discussions about the subject of age segregated education in the local churches starts with conflicting assumptions about this very issue.

 
For example, I have heard many people from within the Family Integrated Church Movement (FICM) adamantly assert that age segregated Sunday school is most definitely not Biblical, but I don’t think they mean what I mean when I speak about whether or not something is Biblical.

Is Age Segregated Sunday School Biblical? – Part 2

 a discussion of the Biblical teaching about the nature of the Church as a spiritual family and how this relates to the Biblical teaching about the biological family.

Is Age Segregated Sunday School Biblical? – Part 3

In this final post I want to examine several other Biblical principles that pertain to the issue.

Should We Allow Children Into Church Membership? – Dr. Robert Gonzales

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While confessional Baptist churches are united in the common faith summarized in their confession, there is still plenty of room for diversity of practice concerning peripheral details. One of these areas concerns the appropriate age for the baptism of a child who has professed faith in Christ. Is there an age requirement? What makes a profession of faith “credible”? Should there be a trial period to discern a pattern or quota of outward evidence of conversion, or should baptism be administered as soon as possible?

Dr. Robert Gonzales presents his take on the issue and offers some exegetical support in this post. Be sure to read the comments too, as there is some great interaction with an opposing viewpoint.

Here are some other posts by Dr. Robert Gonzales on the church & worship:

Why I’m Still a Baptist

May Baptist Churches Use the Adjective “Reformed”?

Following My Re-Maker’s Example: Why I Sabbath on Sunday

Does All Worship and No Play Make Jack a Holy Boy?

Sacred Desk or Sacred Cow? Perspective on the Pulpit

-Jason

Church As Family – Nick Kennicott

Over at the Decablog, Nick Kennicott writes:

The understanding that Christians are brothers and sisters comes from an understanding that adoption creates family, bound together in Christ Jesus. No one has a greater standing than others, but all are on equal footing, counted as “holy and blameless before [God]” (Ephesians 1:4). Therefore, the distinctions of brother and sister among Christians mustn’t be taken lightly. To call another Christian “brother” or “sister” is to affirm a mutual standing with them as a child of God. This important distinction is saying, “We have the same Father who loves us, who has rescued us, who has adopted us and calls us His own, and as a result, I can now call you my brother, my sister.” Brother and sister are not just words. They are hugely significant truths that say something about Christians standing with one another.

 

The Church of Jesus Christ is not a gathering of acquaintances, friends, or even fellow church members. Indeed, to be a Christian in relationship with others is far greater than even a blood relation.

Read the rest or listen to five minute readout.

Interview #15: Jeff Johnson – The Church, Why Bother?, Book Giveaway + More

PodcastPromo015

On episode 15 of our podcast, we interview Jeff Johnson on his book The Church: Why Bother? The Nature, Purpose and Functions of the Local Church.

After that, Pascal Denault answers a question about Covenant Theology and Petto. Then we talk about some Reformed Baptist headlines and introduce a new “Confessor” to you.

Download.

Book Giveaway:

71JXf3ySMnL._SL1386_

Paperback ]

This week you have a chance to win one of three paperbacks of Jeff Johnson’s book The Church: Why Bother? The Nature, Purpose and Functions of the Local Church.

Books & Sites Mentioned:

Headlines Mentioned:

Sponsor:

Credopedia.org – A wiki dedicated to the Second London Baptist Confession of Faith, commonly called the 1689, and theology in accordance with the doctrines contained therein.

Post-Interview Music:

The Church’s One Foundation (can be downloaded free on Cardiphonia’s Hymns of Faith album here or another version is found on Indelible Grace)

Listen to part 2!

“The Church Hurt Me”: To & About Those Who Say That – Thabiti Anyabwile

Over at the Pure Church blog, Thabiti Anyabwile writes:

I hear the statement quite often. Usually it’s raised in discussions of church membership. People want to know how to help a wounded friend or family member re-engage the church. Or, they’re the ones who have been hurt and they’re wrestling with whether church is worth it. Some want to be convinced to join a church and others want to be told it’s okay to leave. Answering well depends, in part, on knowing which way the person leans.

 

But recently I’ve been thinking that part of the answer must include questioning the way the problem is phrased. What does the person mean when they say, “The church hurt me”? Let’s walk the possibilities backward from the most sweeping accusation to the most narrow.

Read the rest or listen to 7 minute readout.

How Sola Scriptura Applies To Public Worship – Jeff Robinson

Over at the Founders Ministries Blog, Jeff Robinson wrote a post titled Where Circus and Church Meet: A Plea for the Recovery of Sola Scriptura in Worship. It begins:

I struggled to keep a straight face when he asked me the question.

 

I was a candidate for the pastorate of this Baptist church, one that was nearly 200 years old, one that had sprung up as a result of the Second Great Awakening in the Ohio Valley.

 

Surely my ears were deceiving me: did this dear brother in Christ, this member of the pastoral search team, really just ask me, “What is your view of clown ministry in the local church?”…

 

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And concludes:

My denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention, waged a strenuous warfare in the 1980s in which it decisively defeated the deadly sloth of liberalism, drove liberal theology from its ranks and re-established the inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture.

 

Now, the crying need of the hour within the SBC and among our fellow Baptists is to recover the sufficiency and authority of God’s Word and to rediscover the regulative principle to inform the worship and life of the church. May it please God to grant us grace sufficient for such a reformation.

Read the rest or listen to readout [12 min.]

He mentions the Fire Truck Baptistery, yes really, and that appeared on the Founders Ministries Blog before here.

20+ Free Lectures & Q&A on Church Ministry From Reformed Baptist Seminary

Some more excellent free resources from Reformed Baptist Seminary:

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Lecture 01 – Our Church’s Journey in Ministry – Christman
Lecture 01 – Our Church’s Journey in Ministry – Christman
Pastor Ted Christman shares the lessons he’s learned from 40 years of pastoral experience.

Lecture 02 – Our Church’s Journey in Evangelism – Hendrix
Lecture 02 – Our Church’s Journey in Evangelism – Hendrix
Pastor Gary Hendrix shares the various methods and strategies his church has employed in order to reach the lost.

Lecture 03 – The Three Dimensional Church – Christman
Lecture 03 – The Three Dimensional Church – Christman
Pastor Christman sets forth a church ministry philosophy and vision that entails an upward, inward, and outward focus.

Lecture 04 – Contextualization & Church Ministry, Pt 1 – Gonzales
Lecture 04 – Contextualization & Church Ministry, Pt 1 – Gonzales
Dr Bob Gonzales discusses the topic of contextualization and church ministry, providing an exegetically derived definition and description of what it means to become “all things to all men.”

Lecture 05 – Contextualization & Church Ministry, Pt 2 – Gonzales
Lecture 05 – Contextualization & Church Ministry, Pt 2 – Gonzales
In this lecture, entitled “Communication That Connects,” Dr Gonzales discusses the contextualization of the gospel message.

Lecture 06 – Worship & Church Ministry, Part 1 – Foreman
Lecture 06 – Worship & Church Ministry, Part 1 – Foreman
Pastor Matt Foreman opens the topic of worship by providing a redemptive historical overview of worship in the Bible.

Lecture 07 – Worship & Church Ministry, Part 2 – Foreman
Lecture 07 – Worship & Church Ministry, Part 2 – Foreman
Pastor Foreman continues his survey of worship in the Bible, focusing in this lecture primarily on the NT data.

Lecture 08 – Worship & Church Ministry, Part 3 – Foreman
Lecture 08 – Worship & Church Ministry, Part 3 – Foreman
Pastor Foreman addresses the distinction between worship as a way of life and corporate worship, stressing the importance of the distinction.

Lecture 09 – Worship & Church Ministry, Part 4 – Foreman
Lecture 09 – Worship & Church Ministry, Part 4 – Foreman
Pastor Foreman continues his study on corporate worship with a special focus on the Regulative Principle of worship and its distinction between elements and circumstances.

Lecture 10 – Worship & Church Ministry, Part 5 – Foreman
Lecture 10 – Worship & Church Ministry, Part 5 – Foreman

In this lecture Pastor Foreman provides a survey of the liturgy of the various ecclesiastical traditions through the history of the church. 

 

Lecture 11 – Worship & Church Ministry, Part 6 – Foreman
Lecture 11 – Worship & Church Ministry, Part 6 – Foreman

Pastor Foreman discusses the important place music plays in the worship of God.   

 

Lecture 12 – Worship & Church Ministry, Part 7 – Foreman
Lecture 12 – Worship & Church Ministry, Part 7 – Foreman

In this lecture Pastor Foreman provides practical guidelines for music and worship. 

 

Lecture 13 – Worship & Church Ministry, Part 8 – Foreman
Lecture 13 – Worship & Church Ministry, Part 8 – Foreman

In this final lecture on worship Pastor Foreman discusses “special occasions” such as weddings and funerals.

Lecture 14 – Community & Church Ministry, Part 1 – Clint
Lecture 14 – Community & Church Ministry, Part 1 – Clint
Pastor Chad Clint discusses the importance of the church being a “missional community,” rooting our ministry in our identity.

Lecture 15 – Community & Church Ministry, Part 2 – Clint
Lecture 15 – Community & Church Ministry, Part 2 – Clint
In this lecture Pastor Clint discusses various practical ways to foster missional community in the church.

Lecture 16 – Community & Church Ministry, Part 3 – Clint
Lecture 16 – Community & Church Ministry, Part 3 – Clint

Pastor Clint discusses various types of intra-church ministries to children, teens, singles, young couples, etc. 

Lecture 17 – Discipleship & Church Ministry, Part 1 – Selph
Lecture 17 – Discipleship & Church Ministry, Part 1 – Selph

Pastor Bob Selph discusses the biblical basis and importance of discipleship in this lecture which he’s entitled, “Purposing Reproduction.” 

Lecture 18 – Discipleship & Church Ministry, Part 2 – Selph
Lecture 18 – Discipleship & Church Ministry, Part 2 – Selph

In this lecture entitled “Practicing Replication” Pastor Selph focuses on the practical ways in which the pastor and a church may disciple one another. 

Lecture 19 – Adminstration & Church Ministry – Selph
Lecture 19 – Adminstration & Church Ministry – Selph

Pastor Selph discusses the importance of church administration and offers practical suggestions for efficient administration.

Lecture 20 – Technology & Church Ministry, Part 1 – Gonzales
Lecture 20 – Technology & Church Ministry, Part 1 – Gonzales

Dr Gonzales provides a basic definition of technology as well as a biblical theology of technology and culture.

Lecture 21 – Technology & Church Ministry, Part 2 – Gonzales
Lecture 21 – Technology & Church Ministry, Part 2 – Gonzales

In this lecture Dr Gonzales focuses on various technologies that are employed for outreach, for discipleship, for community, and for worship.  

Lecture 22 – Q&A Session
Lecture 22 – Q&A Session

In this brief “Question & Answer” session, Pastors Selph, Foreman, Clint, and Gonzales field questions from students concerning church ministry.

Are Denominations Worth It? Tom Ascol & Others Answer

Journal_magazine_MayJun9Marks asked a roundtable of pastors the same question: Are denominations worth it? Here are their answers:

Tom Ascol answers:

Are denominations worth it? That depends on what your definition of “it” is. It is obviously valuable to cooperate for common causes that are germane to their mission. The New Testament points to the financial cooperation of churches in Macedonia, Achaia and Galatia (1 Cor. 16:12 Cor. 8:1-7), the doctrinal cooperation between the churches in Jerusalem and Antioch (Acts 15:1-35), and the missionary cooperation referenced in 2 Corinthians 8:19. So cooperation among local churches is obviously biblical and can be beneficial in many practical ways.

However, such cooperation is not dependent on any particular denominational structure. That has never been truer than in our present day of instant and multi-faceted communication. The emergence of so many affinity networks among churches over the last ten years is a testimony to that.

A denomination of churches, such as the Southern Baptist Convention to which my church belongs, is not a church and thus lacks ecclesial authority. But it can still be “worth it” to the extent that it helpfully assist churches by providing avenues for cooperative ventures in a wide variety of ministry opportunities.

Tom Ascol is the senior pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, Florida.

Read the other answers from Tim Cantrell, Tim Keller, Matt O’Reilly, Richard Phillips, and Carl Trueman here.

This World & The Means Of Grace – Richard Barcellos

Richard Barcellos, at his church blog, wrote Back to the Good Old Days? – Thoughts on this World and the Means of Grace:

There are no good old days, except prior to the fall and even those days were not the best of days (Adam could, and did, fall into sin.). The best of days are yet to come. The end is, after all, better than the beginning.  As bad as our day may appear to be and actually be, in essence, it is the same as always, since the fall into sin. The hope (i.e., confident expectation of something in the future based on what God has said) of the Christian is that better days, way better, are coming. But there’s more. We do not have to wait for help to come in the form of the eternal state of affairs after Christ’s second coming. There is help in the now.

Read the rest.

Richard Barcellos is pastor of Grace Reformed Baptist Church in Palmdale, CA. You can follow him at Twitter @richbarcellos